Taste of Excellence Food and Drink Awards 2020 – WINNERS

Announcing our 2020 Award Winners.

Understandably, this year, we have had to adapt how we champion and highlight the region’s food, drink and hospitality sectors but we still wanted to celebrate the fantastic businesses on our doorstep.

We devised new categories highlighting our current challenging times and how businesses have adapted to cope. We were especially interested to hear your reasons for nominating your heroes, favourites and those who have gone above and beyond your expectations.

Here are some of the wonderful and appreciative comments we received about these businesses and others who were nominated. In our January issue we will bring you some of the back stories to these and other top 10 nominated businesses in each category.

Our congratulations and heartfelt respect to all these businesses. Keep calm and carry on – you are doing a great job!

Best Dining Experience To Go
We were looking for where you had the most wonderful meal, collected from your favourite eatery which branched out into meals to go.

WINNER: Healing Manor Hotel, Healing

Customers said:
“Although I live in Healing I had never thought about visiting Healing Manor. They put themselves out there in lockdown, helping our community and wider afield. Lived for their take out Sunday Lunches. Went in nervously for the Eat Out to Help Out Campaign and was impressed with their precautions. Always good food and drinks and lovely atmosphere.”

“This is a truly wonderful hotel and restaurant. It has helped the community whilst in lockdown and still managed to provide excellent take away food. Once reopened the Covid safety measures have been fantastic too.”

“The chef and staff did an amazing job during lockdown. Villagers were also given a treat of freshly baked bread that was free. Meals as delicious as ever. Very well organised.”

Best Afternoon Tea
We were looking for the classic British treat which lifts the spirits.

WINNER: Doddington Tea Room, Doddington Hall, Doddington

Customers said:
“Loved the newly created tea room and the choice of menus, especially the savoury option! Doddington never disappoints.”

“Excellent service! Brilliant idea to transform what was the wedding venue into a tea room in these times! Very safe environment too!”

“Superb food, all locally sourced for their tearoom, and an unbeatable high quality range of produce in the farm shop.”

Best Community Food or Shopping Service
We wanted to know who has risen to the challenge to serve their community and the vulnerable during the pandemic?

WINNER: Gelston Lamb, Gelston

Customers said:
“Great service provided through these difficult times and lovely to support the small independent farm. Good quality meat and love following them on social media where there are regular updates.”

“A truly home grown Lincolnshire business where the owners clearly have a passion for providing a top quality product and service, and all at a reasonable price point too. A real boon as well to be able to access Gelston Lamb for home deliveries during recent months in lockdown. We have had a range of products over a period of time now and all have been to a consistent high quality and with a great customer experience from ordering to delivery, and of course the eating!”

“Outstanding lamb, exceptional service. Chris and Louise of Gelston Lamb provide a reliable, quality service, always delivering high quality, tasty lamb – always delivered on time and with a cheeriness that warms the heart, greatly appreciated in these times. Having the lamb delivered means we don’t have to risk catching Covid-19 in a shop. A very highly valued service.”

Best Drinks Product
Tea, coffee or an artisan tipple – sales have soared recently. We wanted to know which is your local favourite.

WINNER: Five Fathoms Spirit, Barton-upon-Humber

Customers said:
“Five Fathoms dry gin is just sublime and her shop and customer service outstanding.”

“Great little distillery. Best tasting gin we’ve had in ages, always drop in when passing to stock up our drinks cupboard.”

“Emma runs her craft micro-distillery singlehanded. She has created a range of beautiful gins. Her Humber Dry Gin is truly fantastic.”

Best Lincolnshire Staycation
Lincolnshire offers some of the best staycation options. We asked you to nominate your holiday choice.

WINNER: Saltfleet Manor House, Saltfleet

Customers said:
“We stayed at this amazing B&B earlier in the year and were amazed by the history of the manor which was only surpassed by the welcome and professionalism of the owners. The B&B is of the highest standard both in terms of facilities and breakfasts.”

“Only just started up when Covid arrived, still managed to open up on time, the B&B is exceptional, fantastic rooms, great breakfast, even had a pool and hot tub.”

“They have got everything right, modernisation of a Grade II listed building, thinking of everything that people need and then some. A breakfast to die for. They deserve a massive gold star for their efforts in this year of upheaval.”

Best ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ Experience
Throughout August this scheme gave the hospitality sector a boost. You told us where you enjoyed most.

WINNER: Puccinis, Coningsby

Customers said:
“We’ve had the most incredible take away, meal in and a meal on the Eat Out to Help Out! Always amazing!”

“The food and service is second to none. Lockdown happened and these guys stepped up to the plate. Nothing is ever to much trouble and the food is amazing.”

“Truly wonderful food at this gem of a restaurant: with great care taken to cope with Covid-19 and to continue to provide superb food for their customers.”

Best Cakes or Bakes
We wanted to hear which cake makers and bakers have been an inspiration.

WINNER: Lady B’s Cupcakery, Mablethorpe

Customers said:
“Always excellent food, treats, cupcakes and cheesecakes. Exceptional service from staff but especially during such hard times during lockdown, they even adapted their business so we could have our treats delivered to our door, so no special occasion was missed. Then the best service I had throughout the Eat Out to Help Out scheme came from them. One amazing business and a group of wonderful people!”

“Cheesecakes to die for. Whenever I visit my relatives I have to take cheesecake, what more can I say. Lovely staff too.”

“I have been in Mablethorpe for nearly five years and from day one this business has been outstanding. We have held birthdays, anniversaries, even afternoon tea in memory of our mum who loved this place, always they go above and beyond in service and amazing food.”

Best Sweet Treat
Whether yours is chocolate, fudge, marshmallows or jams we asked for your nominations.

WINNER: The Garden Tea Room, North Hykeham

Customers said:
“I live in Grantham but love going to the Garden Tea Room whenever I am in Lincoln. You are spoilt for choice of their delicious cakes, cheesecakes and muffins! Such a broad selection in their afternoon tea, and the teapot can be never ending! You always get good value for money, but even more so when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme came in and Jade and her staff make you feel so welcome and so, so helpful if you have dietary problems. They have ‘specials’ on and a good choice of food on their menu. All produce is fresh and prepared on site. This place is a must to eat in or out at and have kept going all through the lockdown adapting their menu and delivering where possible. They deserve to win!”

“The tea rooms through lockdown offered delivery, all through lockdown they have been amazing! I have been housebound and heavily pregnant. These lovely ladies helped arrange surprise afternoon tea and cakes during pregnancy and after!! Amazing value for money too!”

“The Garden Tea Room has always been a fantastic place to enjoy and relax with a treat. Throughout lockdown, they’ve adapted and found ways to continue to spread joy with their products.”

Best Independent Farm or Local Shop
Locally yours, these businesses have provided innovative services and quality products on your doorstep.

WINNER: Williamsons Farm Shop, Gainsborough

Customers said:
“All have provided an absolutely fantastic, friendly service during difficult times with quality goods and products making lockdown bearable.”

“Staff worked really hard in these strange times and put the people of Gainsborough and surrounding areas first before themselves in times of adversity. They deserve to be recognised for their kindness and hard work this year.”

“Excellent service. Great range of fresh products. Excellent diversity! A life-saver during Covid!”

Best Newcomer of the Year
Who or which business made their mark despite the challenging times?

WINNER: Emily Page of Emz Bakz

Customers said:
“Inspirational young girl, made the most out of lockdown and her skills to make truly delicious cakes, cupcakes and treats.”

“Tried several of Emily’s bakes and they are all amazing. She deserves recognition! Best brownies I’ve ever tasted.”

“We have had an amazing treat box from Emily, really tasty, lots of choice and good value for money.”

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE IN THE CATEGORY BEST RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR! We need your nominations – Celebrating Lincolnshire’s food, drink and hospitality businesses in our Taste of Excellence Food and Drink Awards 2024. Click here to vote bit.ly/tasteawards2024Closing date for nominations 31st August 2024. ... See MoreSee Less